Today, I want to share with you my personal favorite recipe for making cha lua, a traditional Vietnamese dish. Cha lua, also known as Vietnamese pork roll, is a delicacy that is loved by many for its succulent and flavorful taste. In this article, I will guide you through the process of making cha lua, including my personal tips and tricks to make it truly special.
- 2 pounds of ground pork
- 1/2 cup of fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup of cornstarch
- 1/4 cup of crushed ice
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped wood ear mushrooms
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped shallots
- Banana leaves for wrapping (optional)
Step 1: Prepare the Pork Mixture
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, fish sauce, sugar, black pepper, cornstarch, crushed ice, minced garlic, chopped green onions, wood ear mushrooms, and shallots. Mix everything together thoroughly until well combined. This is where you can add your personal touch by adjusting the seasonings to suit your taste.
Step 2: Shape the Cha Lua
Take a piece of aluminum foil or banana leaf and place a portion of the pork mixture onto it. Shape the pork mixture into a cylindrical roll, about 1.5 inches in diameter. Roll the aluminum foil or banana leaf tightly around the pork mixture, twisting the ends to secure it. Repeat this process until all of the pork mixture has been used.
Step 3: Cook the Cha Lua
Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Carefully place the wrapped pork rolls into the boiling water and cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cha lua is firm and cooked through. Once cooked, remove the cha lua from the pot and let them cool for a few minutes.
Step 4: Serve and Enjoy
Unwrap the cha lua from the aluminum foil or banana leaves and slice them into thin rounds. You can serve them as is or lightly pan-fry the slices for added crispiness. Cha lua is typically enjoyed with steamed rice, fresh herbs, and dipping sauce. The combination of flavors is truly delightful!
Making cha lua from scratch is a labor of love, but the end result is definitely worth it. With the right ingredients and a little bit of personal touch, you can create a cha lua that is delicious and unique to your taste. Whether you serve it as a main dish or add it to your favorite Vietnamese dishes, cha lua is sure to impress your family and friends. Give this recipe a try and experience the joy of homemade cha lua!